GUREZ– A day-long Gurez Festival, organised by Department of Tourism in collaboration with District Administration Bandipora and J&K Academy of Art Culture & Languages, witnessed a Horse Polo match after decades on Saturday.
The festival is being held to celebrate the recently awarded best off-beat tourist destination of India and to enhance and promote tourism to this virgin valley.
The Horse Polo match which was played between two teams of local youth, proved to be a major attraction of the event. Elders in the area said that it was after around six decades that they have seen a Polo match being played in Gurez again.
Another special feature of the festival was holding many adventure and water sports activities like Rafting, kayaking, cycling, mountain Biking, trekking besides a spectacular show of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) for the first time in Gurez.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism, Dr. G N Itoo said that the Tourism Department has been promoting Gurez through a sustained and coordinated mechanism for the last two years which yielded results recently in the destination being awarded as the best offbeat tourist spot in the country by a national publication.
Dr. Itoo said possibilities would be explored to make Gurez an all weather Tourist destination.
Addressing the gathering, Deputy Commissioner, Bandipora, Dr. Owais Ahmad congratulated the people of Gurez for being awarded the best off-beat tourist destination award recently at a Tourism conclave at the national capital. He said youth are main stakeholders in tourism promotion in Gurez Valley as tourism not only provides enjoyment but also employment to youth.
Earlier, under the initiative of Adventure tourism, the Deputy Commissioner along with Director Tourism flagged-off groups of students for various adventure activities like kayaking, rafting, and trekking.
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